Friday, September 17th, 2010

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme Dupes
Go For It vs. Goes and Goes

The Dupe List:  MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme

Here are some dupes and swatch comparisons of several Lipcreme shades!

  • Go For It vs. Goes and Goes: Ding, ding! Goes and Goes is a more opaque version of Go For It (from In the Groove). I would have also swatched Up the Amp next to it, but I don’t own it (or I’ve lost it, either way, it’s MIA).
  • Overtime vs. Angel: Similar, like very competitive sisters. Overtime is clearly a yellow-based pink when compared to Angel, which is a cooler pink (but I’d describe as a neutral pink overall).
  • Chatterbox vs. Unlimited Sisters but not twins–Chatterbox is a touch brighter and pinker, while Unlimited almost looks like it has a touch of plum in it when swatched next to Chatterbox. The finish/consistency are nearly the same, though.
  • Morange vs. Good to Go vs. Neon Orange: WINNER! WINNER IN THE ORANGE DRESS! Even with my overly critical eye, I find it pretty difficult to tell the difference between the three of these. Morange looks to be just a touch lighter than the other two, perhaps.
  • Queen’s Sin vs. Perpetual Flame: Not so dupe-tastic. Queen’s Sin is redder and darker (and obviously has a frosty finish).
  • Dubonnet vs. Extended Play: If you have one, you don’t need the other. They’re virtually identical.
  • Extended Play vs. Russian Red vs. Brave Red vs. Prolong: Russian Red is way too bright to be similar to Extended Play, and it’s not quite as pinky as Prolong (which may be closer to Ruby Woo, though not as red). Brave Red is a slightly sheerer, glossier version of Extended Play, though.

See more swatches… Continue reading →

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Video Review: MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme

Grab some popcorn, bon bons, and a drink, this video is long.  The first nine minutes or so are my “first impressions,” as I shot this video over two days.  The remaining twenty minutes consist of showing some possible dupes for a few shades of the Pro Longwear Lipcremes and review of the formula itself.

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Chanel Stupendous Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Stupendous Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel SoHo Story: Stupendous

Chanel Stupendous Eyeshadow Quad ($56.00 for 0.24 oz.) is new and limited edition for Chanel’s SoHo Story Collection, which celebrated the grand reopening of SoHo Boutique. It contains for shimmering shades: a pink champagne, plum-tinged gray-brown, burgundy brown, and icy blue with silver sheen. This is one of the more pigmented Chanel quads I’ve crome across where every shade looked as rich and pigmented wet as it did dry. (Typically, products always look more intense when used wet.)

All four shades seemed rather cool-toned to me, and after using everything together, the entire collection is definitely on the cooler side of the spectrum. Though if you’re warmed, it’s still a very wearable set of products. It leans cool but it’s not so cool where I’d be leery, but just because a product leans the opposite of your skin tone doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t wear it. It’s all a matter of what you pair it with! For instance, try doing one cool area (either lips, cheeks, or eyes) and pairing with two warmer areas (whichever two you didn’t use a cool product on!).

I posted this look earlier in the week. Though I wasn’t sure the blue was going to work paired with the other quad colors, it worked out in the end. I do think it veers on being overly frosty/shimmering, though. As a way to highlight the inner tearduct, I like it, but those wary of ultra frosty products, this might be one of those danger! kind of shades.

Stupendous is consistent with Chanel’s quads–soft, buttery consistency that feels like silk and blends easily. The formula is such that the powder binds well to the lid, even without a primer (though, don’t expect it to last 18 hours if you have oilier lids!), though I’d never wear eyeshadow without a good base! (That’s beauty blasphemy!!) Some readers compared this quad to Mystic Eyes, but going by the only swatches I have posted (I don’t own it), they’re not too similar.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think cool-toned beauties will find this just works beautifully. For warmer skin tones, it’s not a must-have, but paired with a peach blush, I think it’d be lovely.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Chanel Star Glossimer
Chanel Star Glossimer

The Most Dazzling Lips at the Ball

Chanel Star Glossimer ($27.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a sheer gloss strewn with silver and white flecks of dazzling shimmer. My lips looked so slick and wet and juicy as soon as I applied Star; I was like, “OOH, LA LA!”

And if you have not witnessed the magic that is Chanel Glossimers dancing like sunlight as it shimmers against water, I urge you to try it sometime. The effect is delightful. Star seemed to have that gorgeous shimmering effect more than other Glossimers–the way it glinted even indoors was phenomenal.

I went through some of the Glossimers I owned to see if there are comparable ones, and the closest I found was Futile (from Spring 2010), which looks more similar on than it does in a side-by-side swatch. The warmth of Futile is less noticeable when it’s worn. Star has a lot more white and silver shimmer flecks–just a smidgen brighter, but again, the difference is minute. I was also reminded of MAC Sugarrimmed Dazzleglass.

Glossimers have a medium-thick consistency that’s just a touch tacky, but I wouldn’t describe them as sticky at all. I tend to get about three to four hours of wear with these, and the other day, I wore this shade over Stunning Rouge Coco and the combo lasted quite well for eight hours (even with a meal!).

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s virtually colorless on my lips, so if you prefer more pigmented glosses/shades, this is definitely a pass for you. If you love products like MAC Dazzleglass, Glossimers are totally up your alley.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme
Cute, yeah? Maybe I can start a trend! Overtime (pink), Extended Play (red)

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme Review, Photos, Swatches (Overall)

Pro Longwear Lipcreme seems to be a cross between satin and amplified finishes; it’s creamy without being thick, and they all have a slight glossiness when initially applied. The glossiness does seem to fade away within an hour or two, though. Every shade–with the exception of Sweet Ever After–was nearly opaque, with some being totally opaque on my lips and others being semi-opaque. It doesn’t take a lot of product to get opaque results either–I’d say about a layer and a half in total. They’re all vanilla-scented, just as MAC’s other lipsticks and lipglosses are.

The most important characteristic of this lipstick is the wear time, because it’s touted as:

Lightweight texture, creamy finish and comfortable longwear combine in this has-it-all pro-class lip colour. Slick in use, applies without need of a top coat- and still lasts up to 12 hours. Won’t feather or transfer, and the colour stays true. Helps lips stay soft and hydrated.

Because the timing demands a more immediate review, I applied Extended Play on half of my lips and Overtime on the other half. My reasoning behind this is darker shades (like reds, berries, wines) tend to outlast paler, lighter shades across the board, so testing one of the darker shades in the collection might be misleading–but what if the lighter shade did fade away quickly? Then I wouldn’t really know whether the darker shades could at least make it!

Product Photos & Swatches

The average lipstick lasts about three to four hours on me, while a gloss lasts two to three, and together, I get three to six, depending on what I’m eating/drinking during the time. I put on my half-and-half combo around noon, and by three, it had some noticeable fading, but overall, the color was still pretty strong. I sipped a drink through a straw (which is one way to avoid wearing off your lipstick!), but otherwise, I did not eat/drink. You’ll see in the photos how the lipstick just doesn’t look as “fresh” — some of the glossiness has faded away and the color isn’t quite as opaque. The good news is the pink side looks about as good as the red side does.

After about five hours of wear, it was dinnertime, which was perfect–I wanted to give the lipstick a chance to “set” so-to-speak before really challenging it with a meal! In the photo, you’ll see that there’s not a huge change between the slightly faded lip after three hours and post-dinner. The biggest thing I noticed was that the lip color was pulling into my lip lines the longer I wore it. My lips also looked a little parched, though I’m approaching the eighth hour of wear as I write this review, and they don’t feel particularly dry–no flaking or pilling at all.

Some color will definitely stick around for twelve hours, but keep in mind that it’s not going to look the same twelve hours later as it did when you first applied it. I think that’s a pretty unreasonable expectation, though — particularly if you’re eating/drinking, as most makeup is oil-based, so eating oily foods like anything friend can often breakdown a longwearing product. Similar to MAC’s Pro Longwears, a little gloss applied every few hours would “refresh” your lip look without mandating more lipstick or a total lip re-do.  It seems like you’d have to shellac your lips if you really wanted 100% perfect color all day long.

However, the fact that it does fade noticeably after three hours of wear, without eating/drinking (me just cropping photos and typing up reviews, so mostly… sitting, no talking!), is worth pointing out. I would probably recommend topping it with a little gloss or balm, to keep it glossier longer. I’d also like to note that I experienced absolutely no feathering or bleeding of color–not a single bit. MAC says it won’t transfer, and while it certainly doesn’t all rub off in a single kiss, it left a definite kiss-print on my boyfriend’s cheek.  I would say it transfers less than many lipsticks, but it can transfer.  Removal was surprisingly easy–I used my shu cleansing oil and all of it wiped off, no staining left behind.

The packaging is entirely cylindrical in shape–the base of the this against the original lipstick base is the same diameter, but the Lipcreme packaging looks thinner. The cap is long and thin, and it has a soft snap when you put on the cap to close. The outer packaging feels similar to their existing lipsticks, but it’s more of a matte black–the original lipsticks have a slight shininess to them. These retail for $16.00 a pop, as compared to $14.50 for the regular lipsticks, but these have 0.12 oz. as compared to 0.10 oz., so you are getting more despite the increased price. Though $16 starts to approach other high-end brands, and simultaneously shifts MAC more and more so out of that high-end with a mid-end price tag zone.

The range of colors is basic; none of these shades really have anything cool to them, you know?  It’s not like this blood red with golden sheen and teal flash–that’s not what this color range is.  This is a basic color range that is perfect for launching a brand new, permanent lipstick.  I do love that they didn’t stick with just wearable shades, though; they threw in an orange and purple, obviously non-standard hues!  I am confused as to why there was such an emphasis on deeper shades, though–there’s no real perfect nude contender here for the majority of skin tones.

I’m curious to see whether MAC will convert its lipsticks to the new packaging and/or discontinue more shades to make room for these new SKUs.  They’ve certainly done a few packaging changes in the past year or so — pigments, eyeshadow quads…

SUMMARY: I really do like these lipsticks, but they aren’t quite as long-wearing as they claim, which is why they just can’t be A+ products. If you throw the wear time out the window, they’re quite lovely.  They’re creamy, richly pigmented, and apply with ease.  I don’t feel they impart a ton of moisture, but they don’t pull it out just because of the formula–if I don’t use a lip balm during the day, my lips feel similar as they did after removing this lipstick.

Well, if you actually read this whole review, kudos to you!  (And thank you!)

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: These do seem longer wearing than the average lipstick and certainly the average MAC lipstick. It’s going to be tough to get great looking color for twelve full hours without doing something to refresh it. A little gloss will keep the color looking fresher longer without reapplying the lipstick itself, but without any gloss or touch of lip balm periodically during the day (just maybe once every three hours or so), the color may look rather faded.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics

Get recommendations from me, by skin tone, what to skip… plus, see the results of the wear test yourself! Continue reading →

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme: Part 2

Here’s part two!  Next up, a preliminary overview of the texture/feel and recommendations.

  • Overtime is a pale light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones. It seems like a (just barely) lighter version of Creme Cup, paler version of Angel, and pinker version of Hue. I felt like this one didn’t flatter lips as much as others — it kind of looked drying, even though it didn’t feel that way.  This is a cream finish.
  • Perpetual Flame is a rich, fuchsia raspberry. The closest permanent shade would be Impassioned (without the iridescent fuchsia sheen), but it’s not too similar.  This is a cream finish.
  • Prolong is a bright, cherry-ish kind of red with slight blue undertones. It’s brighter and not as ruby red as Extended Play. Seems a bit lighter than Russian Red and has a slightly frost sheen, also similar to Ruby Woo but with weaker blue undertones. This is a cream finish.
  • Sweet Ever After is peach-brown with lighter peach micro-shimmer.  Darker, browner version of Honeyflower, less coral Jist. This is a frost finish.
  • Till Tomorrow is a muted, dark pinky-nude. Kind of like a darker, slightly muted Modesty.
  • Unlimited is a medium pink with subtly cool undertones, but it doesn’t lean too blue at all. It’s a darker version of Chatterbox. This is a cream finish.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →